Column: When a magic moment becomes more


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Josh Harrison shouts toward the dugout after his two-run double tied the score in the fifth inning. — GETTY

The instant the ball made impact with Matt Szczur's bat and seared toward third base, with fellow Cubs already at first and second, the entirety of the Pirates' infield experienced individual flashes. You know, the kind only baseball players can fully appreciate. These guys wait, they weigh the whole scene and most everything that can happen, they wait some more, and, just like that, they're expected to be nothing less than perfect.

Well, this one played out in in perfect harmony, as it turned out.

Let's start with Russell Martin's view behind the plate, if only because it's a wonderful foundation: "All I'm thinking, honestly, is let's get out of this inning."

OK, nothing too sophisticated there, but then, that's by far the most pragmatic view and so very Martin. To that point in the top of the fourth, Chicago's severely depleted lineup had stacked up a three-run lead and was set for more. And hey, there are losses that sting, there are losses that devastate, and then there are losses to an opponent with five starters batting .214 or lower. In a pennant race. With one of your best, Edinson Volquez, on the mound.

So yeah, pragmatic would have worked fine in the moment.

Only the moment would, instead, morph into magic.

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